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d33ts

how to get started

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I want to make a dwarf fortress like game, but I don't really know how to get started with it.

I know C++ and Java, and have used SDL in the past although I don't really remember how to do anything with it.

I would like to start developing it using ASCII graphics but have it coded so that I can later switch to a graphical tileset.

Any advice would be appreciated. Sorry for the limited info, I'm not entirely sure what I want the game to be yet, I just know I want it to have the depth of dwarf fortress eventually but be a bit more user friendly. it might end up being more of an rpg though.

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I want to make a dwarf fortress like game, but I don't really know how to get started with it.


Then you're trying something too complex. Each step of development is within sight of the last. If you literally have no idea how to even start something, then you're trying to jump too far.

Frankly, the depth of dwarf fortress has nothing to do with its rendering.

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I'm not totally clueless, I have a general idea of what would have to go into it. I'm assuming the first step is to get some kind of basic world generation set up and go from there, but I don't know how game programming specifically is structured. For example, how would you go about storing the active game world? Would it just be a big multidimensional array that gets saved to a file on exit?

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Actually, my first starting question is what the best way to set up ASCII drawing would be? I have decided to use Java since I know it better than c++. Should I try to do it directly in the console, use the Java graphics libraries, or use something like SDL or OpenGL?

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Would it just be a big multidimensional array that gets saved to a file on exit?


While that would work, it would likely be problematic once you got to larger worlds. A more specialized spacial structure is likely needed.


Actually, my first starting question is what the best way to set up ASCII drawing would be?


The core of your game is not drawing. If you want to see how it would work, I recommend a small test project to try different ways of doing it. Learn what works; what doesn't. When it comes time to actually incorporate that into the game it will be tons easier.

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Ironically, these days, making a ascii graphics based game would be more difficult by a huge factor than a simple 2D tile based game.

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